Feedback is good but destructive to originality

Two men sitting at desk using laptops, disucussing a design project.
Two men sitting at desk using laptops, disucussing a design project.
Photo by: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash.com

Designing things whether it be websites, graphics, logos, or apps all have a common theme. They were designed by a designer, who in many cases, ends up doubting their work and revising said work countless times until it is an unrecognizable evolution of what their original vision was.

There is a variety of reasons you would come to the conclusion to revise your work, most often, I think, from getting feedback. Don’t get me wrong, feedback can be essential to achieving your goal, but often times it is not. …


How I found myself and my design style

Black and white photo of a man writing in a notebook. The image is dark and faded to create a dramatic effect.
Black and white photo of a man writing in a notebook. The image is dark and faded to create a dramatic effect.
Image by: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash.com

Two years ago I completed what would be my last freelance design project for the next two years. I was utterly burnt out, mentally frustrated, and physically tired. I had been working on my new small business while desperately trying to grow my design clientele all at once and at some point I had to regain my focus.

RE-FOCUS

I stepped away from my longest-lasting job, my career, as a freelance designer. I focused on building my small business and ended up selling said business after an incredibly fast-paced growth over 2 years. I learned a lot during that time…


Choosing to be your own boss and become a freelancer is a huge commitment. You are in charge of your sales, you are in charge of your benefits, you are in charge of everything. This can be an intimidating feeling, even if just the other day you felt so motivated and ready to rule the world.

One day you can wake up and feel empty. You feel like you are nothing and will never accomplish your goals or provide for yourself or your family. That is just a part of this field. You have no guarantee of getting the income…


“The public is more familiar with bad design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.” — Paul Rand, American Designer behind the branding of IBM, UPS, ABC, and an incredible amount of more notable organizations.

Paul touches on perhaps one of the biggest issues facing the modern interface designer. How do we produce stellar new work, that the public will also accept? Facebook has been a prime example of this Rand’s theory in the past few years. Constantly launching new features…


Following a design trend is like Budweiser making lemonade. It will never be as tasteful as your true style.

The web design world is packed full of trends and people following those trends. In 2017, everyone’s website seemed to look the same. Startup web designers all hopped on the train of this super artsy and illustrated design style that looked a hell of a lot like Stripe.com. It became so popular (and still is) that it was like everyone was just using the same template for every website.

Now, at first, this design style looked great and was super user…


If you’re anything like me, you love being a designer. You love independence and you love not having a regular 9-to-5 job. You have looked up several articles that claim to have the secret to getting you customers. All to find there was no actionable advice that you can take in to effect today.

Well I’m here to tell you there is no secret. Okay, there is one. One secret.

It’s all on you.

Don’t just be another cold email in an inbox.

You're the only one that can take actionable steps to get new clients. You are the one…


With a constant voice on social media of “hustle 24/7 and hustle monday to monday” it is easy to think that you have to adapt that lifestyle and do nothing but work. I am here to tell you that is a bullshit way to live. I believe as much as anyone that a high hustle drive is key to doing great work and most people probably could work a lot more than they do. But we are so quick to forget that life is more than our careers. We design, but design is not who we are. We are human…


Supply and demand allows the market to decide when it is time for the future to be the present. If the tech community is the only people pushing electric and self driving cars, we will continue to see a slow transition. There is an entire community of Americans that do not want anything to do with a car that runs on electricity. Especially one that can drive itself.


Artwork from Variety: http://variety.com/2016/data/news/snapchat-content-survey-how-much-millennials-actually-use-live-stories-discover-and-more-1201736616/

Last month I found out that someone I knew had passed away and I had realized that her Snapchat story was still live. I viewed the story, three pictures, but the one that I remember the most is a sunset picture. It had a caption that I can’t fully recall, but something like ‘living young.’

That was shockingly surreal to me. Obviously, I always knew that one day I would die. But seeing a person that I knew, younger than me die from something quite preventable and share her last moments on Snapchat to then be gone forever was bizarre.


Image from: http://www.augment.com/blog/4-ways-augmented-reality-will-change-everyday-life/

The digital impact on the future of life

For the most part, web viewing devices have not transformed into a new medium yet. We have had great advancements in screen technology and processing power, but we have yet to see the mainstream medium become something different than looking at a screen. I believe this will change within the next 20 years as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence grows and advances.

There are several key areas that I believe will be key factors in the future of design and overall technology.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mobile

THE NEXT DECADE

Today, we are already seeing services like TheGrid.io using artificial intelligence…

Zac Nielson

American designer, entrepreneur, father. Writing about that.

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